Catching Up With A Cougar: Laura Habacker

Catching Up With A Cougar: Laura Habacker

Why did you choose Clark?
I chose Clark for many reasons. Academically I knew I was going to be challenged and then some. I thought I would be exposed to many different types of people. A big reason was I had seen the women's basketball team rise to greatness. I lived in the area and went to many local college games. It was my dream to play on a team that was so good.

What did you study at Clark?
Biology and secondary education

Where did you live during your time at Clark?
I lived in Dodd hall with my awesome roommate and volleyball teammate Diana Wong.

What was your favorite place on campus?
The gym!!

What was your favorite in Worcester?
Probably still the gym ... but I also was a big fan of Moynahan's.

When was the last time you were back on campus?  What are some of the biggest changes you noticed?
I was at a basketball game a few weeks ago, I went back for reunion in the spring. I moved back to the area about a year and a half ago and find excuses to pop by the campus. The campus looks great. the library is so inviting(I may have gone more had it looked like that in the day)the walk way in front of the gym is a nice change. The campus center is beautiful. The gym upgrades look great. The floor and bleachers really look nice. The fields and facilities down by the field are also top notch.

How did you get started playing basketball and softball?
I am the 5th of 6 kids. I played outside and on teams all the time. I think there was more space outside then at home lol. I played on softball and basketball and soccer teams as a kid and just loved being on teams. We also moved a fair amount so teams meant instant friends.

What is your favorite memory as a Cougar?
There are many. As a basketball player I was on a team that went to a final 4. It was hosted at Clark and it was just beyond cool. In volleyball we had many good teams and went to many post season events. My favorite was at MIT where we beat Bentley for the State Championship. As fuzzy as my memory is I just remember being so happy for our whole team to be a part of that win.

Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
Yes I keep in touch with many. I would say my closest and most trusted friends are some of my former Clark teammates.

Did you have any game day superstitions?
I had more than any human being should have. Lucky everything from socks to shirts to coins. I would want the same food before games same gross drink. Some uber sugar koolaid drink that was green. I needed to have the same pre-game music and routine and all that silly stuff. If it works its not weird right?

If you could come out at the start of a game to an entrance song, what would it be?
Lets go old school on this, "Eye Of The Tiger".

What do you do for a living?
I am the athletic director at Anna Maria College, I have spent the majority of my professional life in college athletics, its a good life!

What do you like most about what you do?
I love being around college age students. It keeps me young at heart. It is great to watch students grow and mature and what huge changes happen during the college years. I also love being around athletics. I am surrounded by passionate and hard working people on a daily basis.

Where are you living now and how did you end up there?
I live in central Massachusetts, moved back recently and am very happy with that move. I am just lucky I guess!

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Having been a coach for many years proud moments are often seen in watching your student athletes graduate and go on to live out their personal and professional goals. Being a part of their maturity process and growth as a human being is amazing. I always loved to watch the 4 years and how student athletes develop and change. Having a small part in that makes you very proud.  Watching teammates come to each others aid and raise each other up is also a moment where you pause and say wow I have helped create this environment, very humbling.

What are some of the lessons you learned as an athlete that you think have helped you succeed in life after college?
I think you learn so many great life lessons as an athlete. You learn to compete. You learn that often things are not fair and how to deal with that. You learn how to work with many different types of people who have many different approaches to problems. You learn how to celebrate success and get up from defeat. You learn that you can push yourself further than you thought. You learn to listen to constructive criticism, and actually try and use the information to improve. I always have viewed sport as a true, raw human experience. It is not politically correct or is in the moment, solve a problem and get on to the next play.   

What advice can you give our current student athletes?
There is no substitute for hard work!! Listen to your coaches, especially at Clark, you have some great ones who know what they are doing and want the best for you. Your career will be over in 2.3 seconds ... do not waste this opportunity and gift you have been given. Be loyal to your team, Clark, and coaches. You will need to edit this: step up, suck it up and stop with any excuses that keep you from being great. Great should be a goal ... great means winning championships and doing what you can to help your team, great means losing some of me for the we.

If there was a movie made about you, who would you want to play you?
Geena Davis ... as in a league of their own!!

What is your favorite follow on social media?
Not really my thing, but I follow all things Anna Maria athletics

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
A big house on the cape! All Clarkies are welcome to visit.

What is your most prized possession?
I have a crystal shamrock from Ireland...went there with 2 former Clark teammates, Marge O'Brien and Julie Swaine...the shamrock reminds me of the great trip and the great friends I went with!

If you were stranded on an island, what is the one thing you would want with you?
I would like to bring O'Connor's restaurant with me, I just love that place!!